Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

My Photo
Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Nothing To Fear...

A few posts back an Anon mentioned I would be ok and looked after because I and many others have health problems...of course many are now worried about other things like changes in other benefits are coming that will affect people in other situations but back to those who are ill.

I'll just post links to two news stories and say nothing more...

Paralympic sponsor engulfed by disability tests row

Of course some sites are heavily political but I think the Independent article and BBC feature is pretty fair.


Beware If You Take Part In A Forum Or...

Write a blog...

To some extent you need to be thick skinned...Oh it's ok to accept that others will disagree with you and who is ever going to do that and why should they but hopefully it will be done with respect, often it is not and can become more like a personal attack. That's sad...but the internet is a big beast and though it has a lot of good to offer the opposite is true.

I am not going to delete my blog but have a little break(we'll see how long that lasts)I could be back really quick. I'll regroup and return...even Stephen Fry takes a break from his Twitter Feed occasionally.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Not Much I Can Add To This Post...

I appear to have(going by the symptoms)gout!

In the big toe of my left foot...Ouch!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Get Up And Go...

Not as to leaving here but just getting my back my interest in things...my visit to the CAB knocked me back a little...As I said earlier, the best news would appear to be that all being well I shall a roof over my head even if the place is horrible and the location leaves a lot to be desired.

It may ok as long as I can remain in a Council house(I hate the new term that is used Social Housing)Suspect that they use that term because it sounds less judgemental and does not have the connotations of old. Or in a home owned by a Housing Association.

Unfortunately, being in a property owned by either of these landlords if they cannot offer a smaller property for the amount of people that require one, you have to take what's available or stay put and from next April that means for every empty unused bedroom you have to pay an extra £13. the only advantage(well perhaps two)are if you need a repair doing they do it(I was going to say for free)but you pay plenty in rent, council tax and soon bedroom tax...the other advantage is that hopefully you'll always have a roof over your head.

Private landlords are tempting sometimes but they can get rid of you quite easily and usually charge more for their rooms...

Now one anon has said that all I have to worry about is a change in the benefit system regarding whether I am  fit for work, well if anyone saw those tv documentaries a few weeks ago in the UK there is everything to fear, an uncover Dr and we saw and heard his training with the company doing the assessments and then when he said after examination eight people were to ill to work he was told to change his findings...In another documentary there were lots of examples but one lady who shakes violently and shuffles by inches has been put in the fit for work group at least four times(I believe it said)

So nothing to fear? I think there is everything to fear...

Ironically, the paralympics started today where people with various physical problems are competing with each other to show what they are capable of but many disabled are angry and upset that the company that do these assessments and are paid million by a Government contract are a sponsor of the event. There was a demonstration today. It was mentioned on the radio but I have no idea if it was mentioned on the tv news...

The Huffington Post

I will address other points you have brought up soon...I'm not ducking them...in the meantime I and others who read or post here are at a disadvantage in that often comments are made in answer to what I write but we cannot discuss points raised because often especially on the comments that are anonymous we have no idea what experiences or lives the posters are living that result in the views that they have...

We don't know if they are working, disabled, have savings, are young, old, retired, male or female, from the UK or another part  of the world and so on...at least Jan and crl2amb give you something to work with...

Monday, August 27, 2012

What A Horrible Night Weather Wise...

Like Winter...It's cold, windy and wet...Busy day ahead so early to bed...

May get up early in the morning, have to cancel my signing up to British Gas as soon as they open after the holiday closing. Then I go to the CAB to get my mind put at rest or not as the case may be regarding what may/may not happen in the future...

Then perhaps I can relax and live for today...and let the future unfold as it will.

As soon as the weather improves I will have my garden sorted out. Still will have to see how to proceed regarding that B***** neighbour regarding the trees.

On the way back from the shops a lady started talking to me. What a gentle soul, she looking after her Mum(living in their own home)I have noticed her a few times when shopping in the locals supermarket. I actually felt a bit sorry for her, she looked like she was looking for the bargains and struggling and dare I say I thought she was single and probably a pensioner. After talking tonight I discovered she is younger than me(just)

She has invited me if I am lonely to visit and have a cup of tea perhaps she is short of friends too...I don't feel threatened in any way so one day who knows perhaps I will.

As I said earlier so many are struggling and have taken on the care of their relatives and circumstances mean they have no family of their own or a partner...it doesn't mean we are quitters...just products of our situation.

And when suddenly they no longer have that person to care for lives can change. I suspect she own her own home because of where it is so perhaps that is on less worry but then again should her Mother have to go into care that home might have to be sold to pay for the care, leaving her homeless. She may have to try and make a new life and get out, meet people and socialise but that is not always possible if you don't have transport or have a limited income.

There are still some very kind and caring people out there...

I haven't managed to tonight but I have decided that my next main meal is going to be a stir fry in my new wok, I am having some Quorn chicken pieces as opposed to real meat. It seems ok so thats tomorrow taken care of...

Where possible I must stick to quick and easy meals that use little energy or none at all...I have been looking at the average ost of energy and what uses the most...I am quite cold in bed tonight so it may be time to put the old thermal socks on and PJ's...use a hot water bottle or put a thicker duvet on the bed. So my investments may have some use after all.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Night...

Laid in bed, listening to nice music on the radio that makes you feel good and as though the world is alright and is as it was...and though I doubt I could afford the luxury too often I am just finishing a mixer of whiskey and cola, next time I'll have a go at doing my own...lovely! Not a very big drink but I have had the accepted quota of units allowed.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sticking With NPower

Cancelled First Utility easy as pie...I think they are cheapest for now but I don't like being caught up in a triangle with NPower and British Gas.

I can always look for a better deal in the future but the panic is on to cancel BG before the cooling off period passes...not helped by the fact that the BG call centre is closed until Tuesday at 8am. Everyone else is open.

FU is still cheapest but for what I'll save...and if I keep the use of the gas and electric down. I hate standing charges...that's the killer. I'll be paying £274(with VAT)approx before I use any gas or electric but if they give me(as promised)£100 at the end of the contract and £45 for paperless bills its a bit like being given most of the standing charges back.

I keep hearing of people having monthly bills as low as £65 and no higher than £100 per month I don't know how they do it, we'll just have to see...

I can always see if there is a better deal in the future when the renewal is due...

Friday, August 24, 2012


All being well,
I am having the rest of my mackerel tomorrow(what a great buy that was)enough really to get four meals out of it(that's approx 60p per fish)and I can have it hot or cold and it has hardly any bones. I will be having it regularly.

I am also going to attempt a stir fry tomorrow night, just have to decide which meat to use. I may cheat and use some of my Quorn Chicken Pieces. That'll be interesting. Typical BH weather out there...

I'm not changing any more even if I have made a terrible choice but every comparison site I have gone onto for my energy needs and every combination I have put in has come up with a new utility supplier(new to me)and the information suggests that even paying standing charges I will save approx £152-£300 annually and I am locked into a fixed tariff until December 2013 so should charges rise which is expected I will hopefully miss them(Sadly I think on this plan the gas is cheaper an electric is more expensive and as I use electric more than gas)I may have shot myself in the foot.

But we'll see...I kept being told that a standard tariff which most utility companies were quoting can go up or down and even NPower were charging a standing charge even on their fixed tariff, the only company that was not was British Gas.

I don't really know what the electric will cost monthly yet until I start submitting meter readings and during Summer months I rarely use the gas for water or CH. So probably best part of my bills will be the standing charge...I think that is going to be approx £3.50 a week...so that I can't control but I can to some extent control my energy useage...

It is something I have to learn but again every which way I looked into things and that was using any comparison site First:Utility was top of the list and put first above everyone else.

Why can I not stop thinking tonight is Saturday? I just cannot shake off that idea...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thought Long And Hard About Posting This...

If I have to have a long life ahead I do hope I can see the point of each day and say that was a good one but with all the likely austere times ahead and so many living so simply(That's not bad in itself)realising what is important in life(and it ain't material things)After all you can't take it with you.

Then again it is nice if you are comfortable.

But you know, I am not depressed as I say this...if I was to pass away in my sleep one day soon(you notice I chose the way everyone wants to go)it wouldn't bother me. I'm not really sure that I am bothered about having a long, long life and dragging time out. That doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the dawning of a new day, the moon and stars in the sky at night, the beauty of a flower, the innocence in a child's smile or laughter and so on but they are all fleeting in the fullness of time.

I can't take them with me either when I go...and eventually the world will end so it will be as if all this never happened anyhow...oh how morbid...but honestly I am saying this but I don't feel too bad...But I am allowed t have such thoughts and I suspect many of us do at some time...Equally, another day I could very well change my mind and say "Life is good!"

I have just eaten(well perhaps a hour ago)a salad and two smoked mackerel fillets(what a good buy they were, inexpensive and I can do a few meals(hot or cold)and very good for you nutritionally and...few bones. I am about to have a cup of coffee and I am about to lay on my bed messing around on the laptop looking around the web and reading my computer magazine...and if I doze off, I won't complain...I may even indulge by eating a small bar of chocolate or packet of white chocolate buttons with those little sprinkly things on...

Earlier, I thought what the hell and purchased two cans of corned beef(You know for years I have avoided beef)some lime marmalade(those will be added to my food store)good dates on them...right until 2017 and a loaf of bread that had been reduced.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Government Borrowing Is up!

They say it's unexpected...really? Others are more clever than me explaining why and what it all means.  What I will say is that when the opposition borrowed the present Government criticised and said it was wrong.  Excuses will be given as to why and who is to blame(I suspect the disadvantaged will be top of the list. You know...the usual suspects(most on any state benefit)the ill, the unemployed, the low paid and so on...

But to show how unbiased and fair I am...the opposition is saying that the Government is wrong to carry on with it's austere plans and that the Government is wrong to be borrowing money especially the amount that has...so that's what you do in politics, basically you take take the opposite view.

I better link to the story...

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Been to the shops and purchased some strawberries, tomatoes, bin bags and a hanging basket and some winter pansies(couldn't walk home...had to get a taxi...)

Yesterday's shop cost me because I bought a kettle, hot water bottle and some shirts at the charity shop but the actual grocery shop was free because I did not use a taxi and I had some vouchers
I still have a £5 voucher I can use and do need a couple of items so I may use that...
Need to have a good clean out of rubbish but have tidied and vacuumed the house...I'll give it a dust later. When I have to pay for the service I'll get rid of it but for now I have a telephone service that if there was an emergency I can hit a button and the emergency services will be here without me having to do anything. When I get rid of it, I'll use my mobile, the land line or the internet if I need help or ask for help from a neighbour.

I may still think about having one of those mobility scooters...I have room for one if I stay here but if I did have to move the new property might not have the room for one perhaps I could insist that it has.

My neighbour(the only one who goes on about my trees and how his garden is affected, bumped into me the town centre as I bought my plants and he's on about the trees again SmileyNo one else around here does and they think he's a pain...He is! The last time my gardener was here he chopped loads off my trees to please him Smileyand he's still not happy! I dread it when he catches me and he always eventually brings it around to the tree issue again...that's the only reason he bothers to talk to me, I'm not stupid.

He seems to know everything that I do. He notices when my curtains are closed or whether I am in the garden, If I am up late and have a light on my bedroom, he's a proper curtain twitcher. No one else is bothered about what I do...

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Was All Signed Up To NPower...

for my duel power and sorted but though I may regret it British Gas talked me round to staying with them today and after a month I will be getting my electric and gas from them. They offered me £125 for coming back to them, £120 for taking duel power, £100 at the end of the year and...he waived the standing charges(£72)and though the gas is slightly more expensive than NPower, the electric is cheaper(by 11%)so it evens out but I am saving approx £412 over the year...I think I use more electric than gas so this probably suits me better. After all I can use my extra warm jumpers, PJ's, dressing gown, hot water bottles, fleeces, electric blankets etc...if it gets colder.

And at NPower I was only saving £45 for doing the account on line and getting £100 at the end of the year so I am already £262 better off in comparison. The more I use the gas and electric per month the cost per unit comes down but on the other hand if I don't need to use as much gas and electric I'll save anyhow...I'm sure another £30 was mentioned because I have gone to an online account but we'll see.

If you use a certain amount of gas/electric the price per unit does become cheaper as you use more but if you are being economical anyhow by trying to reduce what you use, you are saving anyhow.

In the end I guess they are all the same and you end up paying the same whoever you are with.

I think I have said before how even those selling gas and electric admit they have to watch what they use and struggle too. The guy on the phone today admitted he often lights candles to light his room and save using the lights. I have had others admit that they sit wrapped in blankets. And they work for the energy companies!

No wonder some people go out and spend ages filling endless hours in a library(if they are open)or a café drinking endless cups of tea to save on the cost of running a home...

Update:The second largest energy company has announced an increase in their charges of 9% starting in October so watch the other companies hike their prices up(and I fear that may mean British gas and I may regret my decision but I can't keep messing the utility companies about and I won't know where I am at by the time I am finished...

I do laugh when the experts, the politicians, even the energy companies say don't sit in a cold house and use what you have so your health doesn't suffer and you have a miserable time...hello! If your income is low and is reducing, any savings you have are being eaten into, food and energy prices are going up, rent, CT and BT increases etc...that's easier said than done. And it's hurting those who work too for a company and often for those who are self employed.

The Weather Is Still Nasty...

Can't see it improving much this year.

Slept well, ate well and the weekend was reasonable. I guess that I was as happy as I can be. Today I plan to  keep busy. I don't feel sad as such or depressed but have that knotted feeling in my stomach. The "Butterflies in the tummy!" feeling.

It is still probably connected to losing Mum but I don't know. I think these are all feelings we have to face when such a traumatic event happens...

I will have a look out soon for some hot water bottles and a kettle that can be use on a stove and not depend on electric for boiling then if there is a power cut I can still get a hot drink by using the camping stove or if an electric kettle fails I can boil it up on the main cooker or the hot plate I have...

I did have little shopping trip yesterday but spent silly money on taxi's but my money is for such expenses but a friend has informed me that a bus runs close to my home(That would be cheaper)to a town nearby I have never been to(I say near)it is about an hour away on the bus but it has nearly all the shops I would use in a precinct and they close to each other.

But once the new supermarket opens on my town I will probably be able to manage reasonably well. Depends how small it is and whether it sells the items I want. I think if I am well stocked up a big shop will not be needed as much.

Anyhow, I managed to get a hand blender yesterday which I think will be useful and save getting a big processor out. Some nice big jugs with easy to read measurements on the side and you can store liquid in them(they also have lids)a steam cleaner which I think is going to be very useful.

Also much as I love my slow cooker and have only been using it for the last few months so it is practically brand new, being single I found a smaller one for under £10 and it uses less power so it may cook quicker and do portions more suitable for me. I will keep both though.

I managed to get some decent food bargains and some good dates on what I purchased so what I have will last me ages.

Oh and though it's a bit big for under £7 I treated myself to a man's watch(with a three year warranty)I haven't worn one for a while but it can be handy having the time easily accessible. And as my eyes get worse having a large watch face probably is a good thing.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Did Settle Down...

I did go out for an hour or so but though the plan was to walk, I had to concede and have a taxi bring me home...

It was too hot to do much but I must do something about that today...I did have something to eat, kept it simple, new potatoes,, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, corned beef and buttered bread.

I slept well too.

Hey, here's something...been looking at the Aldi stores around the world...they seem to have a different reputation elsewhere...here its a basic selling point that they offer value for money and are often cheaper than the other stores but from what I see, elsewhere that conception is not the same and some goods are similar in price or more expensive compared to other well known supermarkets in the UK and perhaps in the local retail scene in other countries...

Well, I'm having a ride out to an Aldi store later this morning and absorbing the cost of a taxi ride(no choice about that)lets hope it is isn't too long before the one on my town opens and I am not disappointed in it.

This could be my last big shop for some time but at least I am stocked up...I am not alone regarding seeing income reduce, struggling on less and being worried about the future. I think many sections of society are being touched and to see me as the exception to  the rule, I am anything but. And for most the main cost and most of the income is eaten up on basic costs(rent, electric, gas, council tax, bedroom tax, travel to and from work if you have a job, possibly the cost of keeping a car on the road, food)and it's difficult to cut back on most of those.

You know that you are in trouble when those who sell gas and electric(when you talk to the call centre staff)admit they are struggling to pay their gas and electric bills and to stay warm do many of the things I do(wearing warm clothes, wrapping themselves in blankets and fleeces, diving under the bedclothes, using hot water bottles etc...)

As for having my wobbly moments, I have been told to expect them even if I am still here in twenty years time but hopefully you find away through them and they become less so really I think I am doing quite well all things considered.

We're all in this together...

They say today will be the hottest day of the year so far but today as I write this it is dull and the sky is colourless. The weather experts say that my area will be having considerable rain by mid morning...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Having A Bit Of A Wobble...

Can't pin it down to anything in particular...Is it missing Mum? Realisation of my mortality?(That would play into Anon's hands...)I hope not! The horrible weather? Worries of the future? I don't know...I have nothing in particular in my mind.

I don't want to go out and walk around the same shops again. I bet that I do. If I go out of town, it's expensive and again, it's just more shops. I might be able to spend now but heck, when the income gets reduced further and it will, I can be thrifty as I like((others have to be)but it will be scary and the difference in my spending power will take some getting used to.

Then again I am not terrifically materialistic, I can't take it with me. What I have mainly is to try and make my life easier. Spare money so you can pay bills helps but health and loved ones are the priority believe me, inner peace if you are alone(comfortable within your own skin)

All I ask is being able to listen to the radio and/music, stay warm, eat reasonably well, stay reasonably healthy and manage my condition, have access to the internet and be able to pay to repair my PC so I have access to the outside world. I can access knowledge, entertainment and information and in comparison to using a I'd manage. An odd theatre trip or a holiday would be nice but plenty of people don't/can't. I guess you have to count your blessings...Being envious gets you nowhere...

Perhaps this is all at the bottom of it...it wasn't anything specific until I started writing this blog entry...it will pass no doubt. Thoughts like mine are felt by many, I am not unique. They say Dr's and health professionals suffer from such thoughts more than most...I can understand that.PC in a library, needing a taxi to go places or buy items te internet is quite low in cost plus access to a phone we're talking of approx 3.5p an hour.

When my mind wanders as it has whilst writing this, I have nothing at the forefront dominating my thoughts and most days, my mind is a blank and I am not thinking deeply. I can go for hours in a similar way to how I always have...

I may feel better after having a cup of tea or coffee and something to eat...don't worry...I have been eating and have not lost my appetite...

Initially It's More Expensive I Suppose And Does Take Time...

For readers from abroad we have a couple of people who have kind of become TV favourites. They even do appearances at theatres and events connected with food. I'm not really sure that they had a career in cookery but that is what has happened.

As they look like a couple of ordinary "Blokes" enjoy good, wholesome, comfort food, come across as the kind of guys that would talk to anyone, have long hair and beards, wear leathers and ride motorbikes they and their programmes are known as "The Hairy Bikers!" And they are popular with quite a sizable proportion of the British population.

After a number of years someone has decided they were putting on weight and "Hey lets make a series about trying to lose weight and that we can still eat the food we enjoy or find alternatives that give the same joy but are less in calorific value and may by chance also be healthier."

Right...that's the background!

Really the obvious answer is I am afraid "Eat Less!" and where possible do "A little exercise!"

To some of us we have the disadvantage that we haven't the time to spend time cooking from scratch(though with planning and some preparation and cheating)time can be clawed back. Also, if you watch less TV, get family members involved in helping(If you have any)its possible. And of course there are short cuts you can take.

But when you can pick up four individual chicken and vegetable pies for £2.00 by a well respected brand...you feel like saying "Why would you!" What's it going to cost to buy the ingredients and make the pastry?(Individual pies are 65p)Pop a few potatoes on(or perhaps mashed potato and you have a reasonable meal. Cooked in approx 25-30mins. All you do is bung everything in the oven.

To be honest I personally don't have a problem with that. And thankfully I keep my weight reasonably maintained.

However, I could be tempted to have a go at doing my own. And in the Hairy Bikers recipe there are two ways of looking at it...They did a meat pie that is approx 350 calories rather than approx double that. That means you can reduce your daily calorie intake(if you need to lose weight)or you can still eat more meals so enjoy your food as you always did. As you have all those calories to use up.

It would appear that it's the pastry, though lovely, that adds all the extra calories so they've found a way around the problem...

Well, if you portion your ingredients(meat could minced or diced and you decide what)they added some potato, frozen vegetables and stock. Looking at it that way perhaps it isn't much more expensive.

How did they get around the pastry problem? They used a Pizza base mix. And the overall opinion seems to have been positive.

I told you that I do love food and the amount of recipes and food information on the internet is amazing(and I have some wonderful books too)

I must say it again, if you love food but cannot justify paying the price many cook books cost, do use charity shops more.

Anyhow...here's a link to the recipe for their meat pie...

I still think there will be times where you cannot make your own food cheaper than what's available in the shops so it comes down to income and time management.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Good News!!!

Well, they say it's good news, I don't know that it's particularly good news for me but I have finally received an e-mail to tell me that I am now ready to receive both my utility services from one company. I may save £100 discount at the end of the year because I signed with them(I assume they just reduce one bill by that amount)and as I am doing the account on line and not receiving paper bills they somehow give me another £45. What's that work out in savings...30p a day if that? But I guess you'll take anything that you can get.

I dislike the fact I have to pay standing charges on the meters but they say they offer a kind of discount on the units used so you sort of get some of that back.

I dare not ask what happens if I find I cannot afford to keep the internet and phone running...as I say the future is frightening financially for everyone! As the Bedroom Tax(for those in that dreaded housing now called "Social" housing)will be an extra £26 per week to find and the way Council Tax is collected and who they decide is helped is changing and if you get help you will be worse off and I reckon household income will reduce by £3,200.

That's approx £52 a week worse off. If you are on benefits no one knows how much of that extra money you'll be expected to find(It will depend on which benefits you receive)and if working it's unlikely your employer is going to award a pay rise and certainly it is not going to be as much a £52.

They just announced on the radio as I write this post the average rent on properties across the UK(it may just be England, I missed that point is £700 a month, £1,000 in London)and the average house if you are trying to buy will be £250,000. Just to cheer you up...

So as that well known song says you have take life "One Day At A Time." Easier said than done. I keep hearing every day of more food banks being set up and more people having to use them. And sadly, many of those contributing to the banks are in trouble themselves.

So though tempted to use the electric and gas as much as I can whilst I am able to stay comfortable ready for hard times that are coming but it's probably better to carry on being frugal and avoid using it if you can.  Luckily, I don't know if it's because I am wearing the right clothes or it is not as cold yet but I am reasonably warm even if the house probably isn't.

The trick is I understand to wear layered clothing that traps air so if they are slightly larger that's even better. As I am bald and they say you can lose a lot of heat through your head(and feet)I'll even wear a woollen hat indoors...and socks...and gloves if needs be.

Perhaps I need a pair of those fingerless gloves that old Steptoe wore in the comedy series.

You can go for a good old hot water bottle, a warmer duvet in winter(I believe I have one unopened somewhere)sadly too big to wash in the washer but if only brought out during Winter and put in a cover, I may get a few years out of it before replacing it.

I now have an electric blanket and I also hear that a mattress topper(one of those memory foam types)can sometimes add heat. I have some fleece throws and blankets so they could even be put across the bed. many people when sitting wrap themselves up too. And again, they say keep having hot drinks, soup and yes, if  you can afford to...hot meals.

There are many sites that give advice but often in a light hearted way(almost patronising)as for many in energy poverty it is worrying keeping yourself warm. That is why I am buying all that I can whilst I can so I am prepared before it happen to me, if it happens to me...

People might laugh that I have two microwaves, a halogen oven, a slow cooker, a George Foreman Grill. Some spare gadgets(like two electric kettles)but at least if something fails, I can fall back on a spare. The same with my food store, better to be ahead now than when the "S*** hits the fan!"

Here's one of the links that advises on how to stay warm, it also has links to another site for ideas for doing that and...to site with some great ideas for meal ideas...If a prompt comes up to do a survey you can say "No!" Perhaps, I have chosen the right time to bring this topic up as they are again saying that we can expect bad weather, torrential rain and gales...

Ten Quick Tips For Staying Warm

Stay Warm Without A Heater

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Only 99p Each...

I do look in the charity shops now and find some bargains, good enough for me anyhow...whether I where them now or keep them back for the future. A few weeks ago I found this little jerkin...

And today I found this hooded anorack and both cost...99p. It's warm and cosy and well padded. Lots of pockets too. How can you be robbed at that price? Could be a very good choice if I happen to go out in the winter months...

After all the recent problems looking for a pair of ordinary black slip on shoes in a variety of towns and shops I managed to find some quite close to what I was looking for in a sale on a shoe site on the internet by Pierre Cardin for £29.99. Even the the pair they tried to sell me in the Clark's shoe shop yesterday were £64.99. So if these fit I'll be pretty chuffed.

When I'm Cleaning Windows...

Well, not me exactly...

I don't know why but our window cleaner has disappeared and it must be something like 6 months since our windows were washed. Well, there is a regular service that has started and now seems to be being used by at least three neighbours so I collared him yesterday and now all being well they will be done every two or three weeks.

They use clean water from a container on the vehicle and have those long pole things with brushes they can use for windows upstairs. No more expensive than what the previous cleaner charged. And used the same rags and bucket of water over and over again.

Unfortunately, the one time I had my windows cleaned later in the day we had one of the worst storms I can remember. One of my friends who posts on here lives a few miles from and commented how frightening it was and if you lose the signal on your satellite dish...then you know it's bad.

Busy day yesterday...took some more trousers for alteration and collected the previous ones that had been done...I have enough to last me for ages now in a variety of colours but if I need to have them done in future I may have a go again at using fabric glue or that stuff that you apply a warm iron to and it kind of melts and welds material together as it is only ever the hems that need shortening. By the time I have finished I have spent £48 on alterations alone. And added to the cost of the trousers we're talking of approx £200 for eight pairs...

I also washed my hair(an event in itself and there's not much to wash)and went and had a haircut.
So at least what I have is tidy. I can manage on two haircuts per year.

I took a trip to a neighbouring town and walking is so slow but I took my shopping trolley which helped greatly. Changed my theatre ticket(Did I tell you?)I discovered one of the shows I booked was for a 5pm performance and form past experience of Summer season shows we always found if you go to the first show of the night it is not as long as the second and they tend to rush you out but the second sometimes can last longer and they'll do an encore. So I am now at the later one and I have a better seat too...

I found a book shop selling books at low prices and purchased another cook book but at £2 I thought it was good value and it will give me ideas on how to some new meals using one pot/dish and if I change the portions I hope I can adapt some lovely meals so they will feed a single person.

I purchased a new pair of trainers so I have a spare pair to fall back on I usually pay around £12 on the town but the one's I use seem to have disappeared. I had to pay £19.99 to get something similar but where mine are not usually designer trainers these had the Lonsdale logo on them usually associated with boxing(I think)

But can I find an ordinary pair of black slip on shoes? The nearest I found was a pair costing £65 and extra wide fitting so too big otherwise every shop seems to be selling a design that is very boxy in shape or have a strange(to me)shape around the toe area. I cannot believe how difficult getting such a basic shoe is proving to be...

Upon getting home last night I had two...yes, two! "Mug Shots" one in a sweet and sour flavour and  the other in a chicken flavour. You had to hot water in a cup and you get a kind of meal with a kind of sauce that adds flavour to the water.

But later on I had a tasty comforting meal of vegetable medley with broccoli, peas and  green beans with a kind of mint dressing, some mashed potato and cabbage and some diced pork in a kind of lamb casserole stock to which I had added some slice baby leeks and garlic.

I used one of the containers that I had used in the microwave to cook one of the meals to put it altogether so, even saved on the washing up. It was lovely and so hot. And stayed that way for ages.

All cooked using my microwaves and the slow cooker. The veg and potato took approx 4-6 minutes. The pork perhaps three hours in the slow cooker(I probably could have done that even quicker had I
wanted to)In fact I probably could have done the pork in a frying pan or my new wok as a stir fry...Perhaps an idea for another time...

Oh and common sense set in...the items I used I was unable to get into the freezer due to a lack of room and that increases how long you can use them but they were mainly chilled and had gone past their dates(even though it said "Use By" but even though they were 3 days over and the pork one day, I knew that they looked fine and they were going to be thoroughly cooked through and piping hot.

As I said it was lovely...and I am still here the morning after.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Strange How...

You can manage to transport these glass tealight candle holders all the way from a supermarket in plastic carrier bags to home safely. Then in the short walk upstairs I managed to smash one of the duplicate green ones.

The supermarket is too far away to make it worthwhile returning to get another...oh well...If I happen to be there sometime I'll look on the off chance...

They are for my store room where I keep food, household goods in case there is ever a power cut or an emergency where I need to use an alternative source for light or to cook food, heat water for drinks and use my warmer clothes and fleese throws and blankets...

I thought these were rather nice.

A small tealight can burn for approx three and half hours and a packet of one hundred only works out at £2. They would not fit these jars but you can get larger ones that burn for 9 hours...(I did not know that)

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Surviving US Airman Of The Flight That Dropped

the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan in WWII was giving a talk to a class, now we know that it is always written down that way but when he was introduced,the teacher said to the class that he had taken part in World War Eleven!SmileySmiley

Let's See If Brazil Gets Bitten By The Olympics Bug...

over the next four years, The London games have not been followed much by the Brazilian public and tonight as the games was handed over to them from London most were watching football games...but public views  can and do change.

Some people say some silly things, the presenter on Radio 5 this morning said that we should applaud and cheer those who took part in the Olympics every day.

The UK is getting back to normal now the Olympics is over and I see that Job Centre staff are the next to threaten strike action over their conditions which I support but they'll have to be careful because it can only be a matter of time before the Government privatise even more of the service.

We have Atos doing the assessments of the ill and they've now been awarded more Government contracts. And most of the back to work programmes are run by private companies, before too long the staff at Job Centres will probably find that they are looking for work themselves.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

First Real Visit To An Aldi Today...

Ours does not officially open until November so I went to a neighbouring town but found some decent items to add to my store cupboard but also bought myself some items that hopefully will last me for years and got them now whilst I can, so I got some non stick sauce pans, a couple of frying pans and woks, a two hob hot plate and a three tier steamer and some chopping boards...I think it could be ten years since I was last in an Aldi so I had forgotten what they were like and they've probably changed over the years.

Whilst out I cooked in the slow cooker some belly pork(removed the fat)and later plan to have some roast potatoes and vegetables with gravy...My first real meal of the day but I did have some salad in buns early this morning and I have had an organic fruit yogurt.

For anyone reading abroad...Aldi is a supermarket with few frills and lots of unknown brands but still quality merchandise and many items are lower in price but I found a lot of items costing the same or sometimes more than other supermarkets...

You know I always fed Mum the best that I could but since I lost Mum and built up my storeroom and  the gadgets I have purchased what I could've done for her and again the access I have to the internet all the music and tv I could have shared using the laptop.

I was talking to the taxi driver today and he has and praised almost the same gadgets that I own...a combi microwave, a George Forman grill and a slow cooker. At least when Aldi is built on my town we have access to three reasonable food shops(Tesco's, Aldi and Heron's freezer shop)

Where I was today they are well served by having an Iceland, Lidl, Aldi, a big ASDA and a Farmshops Freezer store. Another local town has those but also a Morrisons, a Pound shop, Tesco's and a Sainsbury's. Some town's have too few shops and some too few. If transport was cheaper and more frequent that would be brilliant but once Aldi is up and running we're not doing so bad.

I'm a bit surprised that we don't have a Poundland on our town...

The Media Has Worked Out That...

every medal won in the Olympics has cost £150million. Was it worth it? We have 28 medals so far so what's that total at? Too much for my brain to work out...I assume the medals won by other countries also come in at £150million too...

And here's the latest, our PM has found/committed £125Million for each of the next four years to support our sporting hopefuls hoping to take part in the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Where do they find the money? What is being cut to invest this money?

It appears that the money for this will be Government money but also from lottery funding. I thought that charities applied to the lottery for grants but did not realise that Governments can suddenly decide to syphon off what they like to a cause they want to support. Really it's all our money from taxes and the fee paid for a lottery ticket.

I don't need to spell it out...but we've given £5million to Syria, millions to help with the Euro crises in Greece etc...even money towards the Irish Republic's problems but even I might say a natural disaster or where people really are struggling to have food and heating is more deserving than the Olympics. Even the latest earthquakes in Iran deserve help, if they'll accept it as once again it will be the poor that suffer who already have very little.

Could we afford the Olympics? No! Should we have hosted it? No! Will there be a legacy afterwards? I doubt it! In the end it was just a big party that for a couple of weeks many enjoyed and forgot their troubles but now we come back to Earth with a bump!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Every time I See A Programme Like This...

I become a little more scared. On a very low income I can just about manage to eat by choosing what I buy carefully, eating less, having smaller portions, trying to bulk out the meals by using things like lentils, splitting items like mince so you get three or four meals out of one tray, freezing it and making it last.

Eating more cereal, yes having soup, baked beans etc...sometimes eating one course rather than two.

But as I have said elsewhere many are starting to struggle who are working. So what is it going to be like when the real austere measures kick in and if those working are at the end of their tether what are those who to depend on the State going to do?

I can feed myself very frugally. Eat less, eat meals that require no cooking(salads, sandwiches)I can thanks to using a microwave, halogen oven, George Forman Grill, toaster, slow cooker, steamer cook quickly and save on energy. If I have to I can give up my little bit of entertainment and luxury(The phone, tv and internet)but if I do, as I will not be able to go out, my only pleasure will be a radio.

I can keep cutting back on the central heating and electric and eventually stop using either altogether by putting more cheap charity shop clothes on, diving under the bedclothes, leaving lights off. Just having an odd wash and one quick wash of clothes/bedclothes.

But what a life in a so called well advanced country in the Western world. And in the 21st Century. I don't mind being frugal and thrifty but when as for many it is a case of being warm or feeding yourself and you have to decide which takes priority...and unfortunately what kills most household budgets is...the cost of keeping a roof over your head(rent, council tax and for many the new charge coming in of a bedroom tax)Rents increase, next year there is a new way of collecting CT, how much help you will be given. So far lots of unknowns and many of the changes are not in the public domain.

Even if you use the figures of today, they will be out of date by the time the new financial year begins in April 2013. A rough estimate...if you were paying full rent, CT and bedroom tax, utility bills and food and you had £200 a week...even watching every penny, you would have no spare change. And approx 75% would be the cost of keeping the roof over your head and 25% to do everything else(food, utility and a bit of entertainment, buying clothes, shoes etc...)Hope that what you buy will last years and not wear out.

It is also obvious that the econonmy is still working on the assumption that most people are earning the average wage of £250 a week. I never earned that, I'm sure my parents never did and I don't know anyone who ever has unless I include my Dr and Dentist.

Most are on low or minimum wages.

You just have to hope that it will not be as bad as we fear.

Anyhow the link to this programme should work if you live in the UK and it is available for approx 28 days...The second programme is available for 21 days...

Watch it if you get the chance...its depressing viewing I am afraid...

Tonight - Britain's Hunger Shame.

Tonight - Divided Britain

Friday, August 10, 2012

Food Is My Pleasure!

I'm not obsessed with calories but have been counting my intake(not before, but afterwards)In general, one day I am about half, the other day approx on target or slightly more.

I am cutting back on the protein as with damaged kidneys...I should, so I will bulk my food out with fruit, vegetables, cereal etc...it makes the food go further(saves money)and if money is tight making it last may mean I can eat better stuff...

However, my menu for today is salad sandwiches, an organic bio yogurt, Jam and bread, lemon sole, mashed potato and vegetables, cereal and strawberries, blueberries and banana, semi-skimmed milk, scone and jam, semi-skimmed milk, coffee and water.

I have already eaten the items in red...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

They've Saved Money...

at Whitehall and hope to save even more but it will mainly be gained from efficiencies so read that to mean people losing their jobs and others having to do more. In the present climate those who find themselves out of work are probably on lower wages and the bottom rung of  the career ladder so money saved, will probably be lost because they will be claiming help from the State, it's wrong to assume those being lost are long serving civil servants with a massive pension that are leaving.

We all know money saved  in one department will be diverted elsewhere. Or disappear.

The example given in the article of savings is that they are the equivalent this year alone to around £500 for each working household in Britain, the salaries of around 250,000 junior nurses or the cost of around 1.6 million primary school places.

Does this mean they will employ more nurses or it safeguards those who are already employed? Will schools benefit? Will they give that £500 back to those families who are struggling. The answer is...No! And they always drop into any such story, the term "Working Families" if they can. That works out around £1.25 per day.

Oh well, as you were...The article is a standard one issued to be used by whoever wants to print it.

Savings Made

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

You Must Eat Gildy...

That's what a few people have said when I have posted how little I have been eating some days but I always eat well or try to and have variety. But it would appear that smaller portions and restricting calories to some extent is starting to show positive health signs. It appears during times of great hardship when people were poor or food was not as abundant life expectancy actually increased.

There is some research being carried out which means you eat one meal of 600 calories one day and then eat whatever you like the next day. A documentary has been aired here where the presenter decided to do two days of fasting and eating more on the other five days.

He has lost but maintained weight but has seen dramatic reductions in all the things that can harm you from glucose, cholesterol etc...even the reduction  of seven types of cancer so perhaps what I have been doing unknowingly has not harmed me but probably done me some good.

So just maybe I'll carry on as I have been or might do it on a more official footing. So that's 600 calories say each day(mon/tues)wed to sun approx 2,000 calories daily.

Sadly, It's Going To Happen...

But we've lost another great at a relatively young age. By all accounts he was another who had a short illness but nothing to suggest he would pass away...Marvin Hamlisch

According to the radio he was working on a new movie about the flamboyant entertainer Liberace and was the new conductor of an orchestra so people were looking forward to a series of concerts.

As has been said life can change so quickly and often with little warning.

I know much of his music but probably have heard many of his compositions and not realised.

I know many years ago he used to appear a lot on British TV usually on chat shows and amuse as he had a friendly open manner about him and he tell anecdotes, play the piano etc...often coming across like another great of the song writing world Sammy Cahn.

It's funny I saw with Mum perhaps 20+ years ago a big production of one of his most popular and award winning productions "A Chorus Line" and we all  remember the song "One" but to be honest we were bored with it and nearly walked out and I cannot think of another time I have felt that way in a concert, play, musical or film.

I was trying to think if I knew any other songs from that musical..."I Can Do That!" "I Hope I Get It!"
"What I Did For Love!""Nothing!" So out of ten songs that's five.

A lot of the time I know the songs of musicals more when sung by a singer and taken out of a show. But no one could say that he wasn't a wonderful tune smith and I am sure that he'll be remembered fondly and missed greatly. But at least he has left his mark on the world with his works and a legacy...

And again Hamlisch actually wrote the music, sometimes the people we know may be musicians but they turn out to be the lyricist and then we get into who is more important. Though in a perfect partnership they compliment each other.


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

They'll Have To Be A Treat...

Unless I can make something similar cheaper but I have discovered Bacardi Rum Breezers and I love them...the ones I have been drinking this week had a best before date of November 2011(told you I'm not a big drinker)but they tasted perfectly fine to me so this proves that most alcohol will last well past the date on the bottle and is mainly done for the retailer.

So I will get some new Booze but work my way through the bottles that have been neglected over the last few years...

I went to the CAB earlier in the day for advice but that was a waste of time so I will have to go on my own instinct for now...

On the way home I looked for some trainers and shoes on the town but wasn't impressed, will have to look in a neighbouring town, maybe when I look for a mattress and the electric blankets.

I did come home with a box of strawberries and some Winter Flowering Pansies for "Mum's" garden/baskets.

As I had to sit up all night to make a phone call to Mum's brother in America last night and did not manage to talk with him until around 4am I was up all night so have spent most of the day catching up on sleep.

Anyhow, my main meal today changed and for quickness I had a small can of spaghetti hoops, ham, a tomato and some toast.

Some days I eat more, some days less. But if you are not burning the calories off you can manage on less and without going over board the important thing is the nutritional value and to some extent the calorific value.

With my coffee, milk, booze, orange juice, sweetener, bread and a thin spread of butter and water today it approx breaks down as follows...

Cals 1724, Fat 60g, Cholesterol 120mg, Sodium 1279mg, Carbs 284g, Fibre 5g, Protein 43g, Sugars 132g

You can have a go at looking at the free calorie counter My plate and fitness information, recipes etc...at www.livestrong.com

Some items are not available in the UK so you have to choose a similar item to get an approx idea but a lot of the on line calorie counters are tied into a fitness plan or trying to get you to lose weight. An may cost you money.

I just wanted to know how many calories there are in what I am eating. Of course if I eat less than 2,000 I will probably lose weight, if I eat approx 2,000 calories daily I will maintain my weight. But even then it's playing off what you intake against what you burn off.

I don't usually count calories,  I just eat what I want, when I want.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Here We Go...

At last some newspapers are reporting what is happening and not being diverted by the positive slant the Olympics have made the public forget their troubles for a couple of weeks and look as life in the UK as fantastic...the problem is that those on low wages, the sick and vulnerable who need State help in some form will not I am afraid be the only people affected.

Those who are working(or are classed as of working age)will probably see their income reduced because a new form of Council Tax is being introduced that will be run, collected and thought out by individual councils across the UK(I suspect Scotland will be different, it usually is)so neighbouring authorities may have a totally system to each other.

I think it is just as easy to post links and hope you'll read all the different ideas, see who will be affected and the consequences. And to see the comments left by readers(even allowing for trolls)most are scared or angry about what is being proposed...sorry, I'm saying proposed, the new idea is coming in 2013 as is the Bedroom Tax...

I have seen more specific examples of what certain councils plan to do but it's not fair to post those plans here and where they are they are subject to copyright...

Just about everyone, should be afraid, very afraid...

The Independent

East Anglian Daily News

The Independent

The Information Daily

The Press Association

The changes seem to be only being discussed on forums not the media, try this at MSE

But you know if income is tight, how will it help stimulate the economy? Because there will be even less money being spent which will threaten the future profits of many companies and that in turn could see more people being put out of work or not being hired.

Curiosity Lands On Mars...

Whether it's a waste of money or not, I have just watched the landing of the vehicle via NASA TV. Within minutes we had images coming back from the Red Planet. It's still a remarkable achievement.

Whilst watching and waiting...I've had two coffees, packet of salt and vinegar chip sticks, two slices of toast and jam and a packet of jelly beans...

Picture of Curiosity landing on the surface of Mars

     Image of Mars and the Curiosity Lander...
(Images Courtesy of NASA)

That Slow Cooker Is Wonderful...

I managed to have what was virtually a lamb casserole. I put some frozen veg in a kind of lamb casserole mix(water and a kind of sachet with herbs etc...)some diced lamb. That went in one roasting bag, some roast potatoes in another roasting bag)On went the cooker. Ten minutes before serving up I put some cabbage and leak in a steam bag in the microwave. How easy is that?

Found Out That Clare Teal Is Coming To

Another local theatre that I have never been to but not until next year so I'll book my ticket now in case I can't in coming months, if you don't book early you miss out.Smiley vocals 034.gifThere may not be any tickets now for all I know.

Smiley trumpet 127.gifI have also discovered that the Syd Lawrence Big Band is appearing around the same time. I last saw them maybe 30 years ago and it was fantastic. Also, instead of seeing Martha Reeves, I'll try and book a ticket for Stacy Kent who is appearing in a few weeks.

If you are fortunate to live in a big city like Liverpool you get some wonderful treats and for some they will travel to such venues but an example the great conductor John Wilson is organising a big band  and will appear with Clare Teal on December 31st to bring in the New Year. What a way to do that...never been a lover of New Year and this year will probably be in bed when it strikes midnight but a concert like this, I'd make an exception.

BTW Carol, John Shuttleworth is coming in the New Year tooSmiley

Without going all the way to Newcastle, it seems we have four theatres within 7-17miles of here...and I have never been in three of them.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


I have health issues and they could become worse...so any site that is helpful and has a good reputation deserves publicity. I'm  going to look around the site to...

So a heads up to the following site who seem to be trying to offer quality, reasonable prices, even trying to make things that are colourful and a bit fashionable...

This site is for all ages...and they offer help via "Live Chat" if required...

Cheap Disability Aids

Well, I Suppose I'll Have To Congratulate...

Andy Murray for winning gold in the tennis element of the Olympics but I have difficulty deciding if it contradicts the ethos of the Olympics because it is virtually certain those taking part will be professionals who have made it their career/living. So the pool of representatives will be at the top of their game.

Then again, the so called "Amateurs" that train for years and need financial support from a variety of sources(unless they are trying to hold down a job alongside the training)or have parents sacrificing their lives so their child can do nothing else but train to be the best swimmer, runner etc...that it has become a job.

Then again, many that make sport their career, really make their money and reputation after they can no longer do their sport. Some will get out of it altogether and go back to perhaps having a family or working in a profession not connected with sport.

Others will get into the media and commentate. Others will move into coaching, management and so on.

Sadly, too many will not make the grade but they tried and they are probably just as important than the winners we remember but often they will be forgotten, those with the broken dreams or were told "You haven't made the grade." There will always be exceptions and the obvious one is Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards.

I have no doubt that Usain Bolt has probably worked his way up like most, to be the best that he can be but somehow he comes across as a professional athlete(perhaps its the way people like him know how to use the media) And does he have an agent/management looking after his public image?

Whereas, some of our winners come across unaffected and do it all themselves, coming across just as the "Ordinary" person who you see in your street and have not had money chucked at them.

It appears that though the BBC are organising the coverage and we hear our own commentators and when they cut to the studio the "Talking heads" domestically...the pictures that are fed to the world are controlled by the Olympic movement itself.

Perhaps they do this to avoid coverage being biased to the host country. Today, the public were upset that the tv cameras cut away from Murray giving his Mum a kiss after winning and blaiming the BBC, They had nothing to do with it!

Of course for all I am not a sports fan I am biased and like to see our own winning but in the end we should celebrate greatness wherever the person comes from...

Update:Happy to report according anonymous' comment connected to this post, the kiss between son and mother was shown even though numerous Twitter posts and BBC Radio 5 presenters suggested otherwise.

Those Amongst Us Who Have Or Are Considering

using/buying a halogen oven often complain about the lack of recipes and don't want to buy lots of books. Often sites are connected to the manufacturer of a particular oven...

So I post the following link and hope it helps...

Halogen Oven Recipes

One Thing I Do Believe...

When you are alone and something "Big" happens that disrupts your life in a bad way, you'll often find people surfing the net, watching tv, reading a book, listening to the radio, making a cup of tea during the night. Taking a nap during the day.

For years without fail one of my neighbours her bedroom light will come on every morning around 4am. As we grow older some find that they need less sleep.

Yes, night time is supposed to be the time when our brains/body repairs itself but there is something a bit troubling about the early hours.

But I don't see my being awake as insomnia as I am not trying to sleep or tossing and turning and getting upset that I am unable to.

Well, It's Like Having A Takeaway...

I have just had some Sweet And Sour Chicken with rice plus some new potatoes. That will keep me going. Don't know how much power I used but it was all cooked via two microwaves(700 and 800 Watts)between 6-9minutes. I did not even need to use any plates. So I have christened the new combi micro at last.

It's been quite a boring night to be honest. I'm sorry though "Team GB" has won six gold medals at the Olympics and probably deservedly so, if you are not interested there's not much else being discussed. Any other time I would be less cynical but in austere times the Olympics is being used as a diversion and when it's over we must not let it give our leaders something to hide behind.

Weather wise it turned quite nasty earlier, claps of thunder, some heavy rain showers accompanied by some gusts of wind...

Though struggling with my faith if I wake in the morning and it's not pouring down I may try and attend church in the morning but I'll know better at the time.

Not the most exciting day, I travelled  to a neighbouring town and did a little shopping in a supermarket I don't usually get into.

A change of scenery...

Saturday, August 04, 2012

I Thought It Was Time...

that I had more than one pair of decent trousers so whilst I am able I bought myself a selection. I am so used to buying my clothes in large size I went for 38" inches waist but I have lost 2" so had to change them. We change our shirts, underwear etc...but don't seem to do the same with trousers so much.

And usually I have owned one or two pairs, no more and if something was to happen to them I'd be stuck. I usually stick to black but I found two in grey, one in a fawn colour and one pair in black. I managed to find a shower proof jacket with a hidden hood which will hopefully be useful during Winter especially.

I was going to shorten my trousers but again, thought better to have them done professionally and my sewing isn't that good...The shop assistant at the supermarket said the web stuff that bonds hems using heat often drops, I went over to the shop to be told the person that alters clothes is not there on Saturdays...

6 journeys by taxi already...Smiley

Thinking of having a ride to a neighbouring town this afternoon to get some electric blankets if I can...It's a look out...

Friday, August 03, 2012

Lots Of Unknowns May Get In The Way...

Such as changes in benefits, being called in for assessments, operation needed but assuming this is not a problem, I hope to go away on a coach trip or two whilst I am able and tentatively I have been looking at what's available. But though seats may be come unavailable, I don't that I can consider going before late October. But you never know...

Having booked my theatre tickets they kind of get in the way during September and the first part of October.

If I could getaway just maybe I'll start to get myself together...Maybe it's what I have been waiting for and as one anon said in a previous comment, try and get out more. If I can...I will.

As I write this I have a cup of coffee in one hand and a kitkat dated July 2011 in the other and it's fine! I had no idea when I started eating it mind...

Thursday, August 02, 2012

I Am Not Depressed As Such But...

Have lost a bit of my interest in blogging and it is I am afraid still being caused by worries over finances and the future. I would happily live in the day and can manage to do so. I have come to terms with the loss of Mum, I don't like it but I cannot change things.

But hovering around in the background are the unknowns that I have no control over.

In some ways this worry has diverted my thoughts to something else. But it does mean I am having difficulty putting it out of my mind.

It was not helped(but I have to know of these things)by watching two documentaries earlier in the week about how the assessments for whether you are ill/disabled are conducted and whether they are fair. Usually, the media portrays those who claim as scroungers/fiddlers but both these documentaries were fair but in being so frightening. I will try and link to the documentaries but within days they probably will be unavailable and if you live outside the UK access will not be available. I think that they are watchable for another three or four days...

Dispatches Britain On The Sick

Panorama Disabled Or Faking It

The difference with these documentaries is that they have managed to get into the company that carries out the tests, Dispatches has a genuine Dr going under cover and being trained to do the assessments and you hear what his trainer tells him and then he tells you what happened after he did some tests. They wanted him to change his findings.

Panorama actually follows some claimants and again manages to do some secret filming during tests.

Word has come through that although the company featured has a very bad reputation amongst those who have to come into contact with them, they have been awarded the contract to take over the assessments for some other benefits that are being replaced or introduced.

So more too worry about.

The company rarely answers any criticism and is shrouded in mystery. They have been known to threaten legal action against anything negative said against them. At least when it is seen in a documentary it can not be denied what is going on.

Unfortunately, they were broadcast against the Olympics and one was moved out of it's prime slot on a main tv channel so those who should see what's happening(and are affected or will be)by this and those who are ignorant of what is going on may have missed these important programmes.
I would love to think this is the change we've been waiting for...

Possible New WCA Descriptors 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The Problem For Many Is That Their Income Is So Low...

that if they save they'll soon go over the threshold which means that they lose money they are entitled to or would be accused of falsely claiming money. But saving is important for when times become difficult and a financial cushion could be important.

Especially, when you know it's going to happen. None of us know how long we will live, when you think you are doing ok some unexpected bill will arrive or a price rise will happen. Or more importantly for many who have never been in such a situation they find themselves out of work, ill or if part of a family a loved one may unexpectedly pass away.

Most are right on the threshold or below of getting help...and if you are just over, you are penalised. I reckon that you need approx double the threshold or more to stop that happening and to stop you living hand to mouth, so no wonder many still try to win the National/Euro millions Lottery. Even though it's very unlikely you'll win. Many hope they can win enough(not necessarily a million)just enough to stop claiming and get their life together again.

So it is a pity that often the media and sometimes people criticise when someone claiming benefits win, why shouldn't they? At least if they do they are no longer claiming any more.

The Olympics Seem To Be...

Doing well and have settled down and the problems don't seem much more than any other but there are still a lot of empty seats and they are still having difficulty filling them. One newspaper reckons it is still something like 60,000 seats daily. I think they could fill them but because of rules/regulations they are not allowed to. They are supposed to be vacant for "The Olympic Family" That is people involved with the running of the Olympics but that does not explain why they remain empty...

I'd like to credit the source of the image but I have forgotten who posted it...sorry!Smiley

We have some new controversy breaking about some athletes(well badminton players)being accused of not playing as they could for tactical reasons resulting in the crowd booing and officials having to decide what action to take.

There was a documentary on the BBC World Service asking if people who train and take part in events like the Olympics should be more prepared to lose and be able to accept defeat.